KCRG-TV9 Student of the Month Abby Ehrler gives back to children fighting medical conditions
GALENA, Illinois (KCRG) - The KCRG-TV9 Student of the Month for February started her own non-profit organization. Abby Ehrler gives blankets to children in the hospital, who are fighting cancer or who have medical conditions. The blankets take her 20-30 minutes to make, and she makes a couple every week.
Abby knows exactly what it feels like to have those cancer treatments and major surgeries. Doctors diagnosed her with thyroid cancer when she was 12 years old.
“I was in sixth grade, I was at the doctor and I felt a lump in my neck,” explained Abby.
Her diagnosis changed everything for her family.
“Awful. Absolutely awful, I think it’s one of the last things you think that you’ll ever hear,” recalled Abby’s mother, Amanda Ehrler.
The treatment over the past few years was tough.
“It was hard, I had a major surgery, they took out my entire thyroid and 20 lymphnoids which was really difficult, and since then I’ve been having scans and labs, and I’ve even had more surgeries after that,” Abby said.
It shifted their family’s perspective, and revealed a sense of gratefulness.
“We realized there’s nothing more important than family,” said Amanda. “It’s definitely changed my outlook on my life that not any day is to be taken for granted.”
Going through a difficult diagnosis and treatments inspired Abby to help others.
“Giving back is so much more important to me now. I hadn’t done a whole lot of charity work before that, and just giving back is just one of the biggest things I like to do now,” she said. “I thought blankets were perfect because it’s always cold.”
Now, at 16, she’s a busy student, who says she works hard to maintain her 4.0 GPA.
“She’s just been through so much, and she’s come back from what has knocked her down to come back bounce back to be an amazing student as well,” said Amanda.
Thinking of her future, college, majoring in business...while continuing to give back.
“She’s got a long road in front of her, but she’s really just learned so much and as a family we’ve really teamed up together,” Amanda said.
Making the world filled with cancer treatments just a little warmer and softer, through ‘Abby’s Blankets of Strength.’
“I think that’s the most important part is being able to provide them with a little comfort,” said Abby.
Her organization is run entirely on donations. Visit the group’s Abby’s Blankets of Strength Facebook page here.
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